September 18, 2014

Lifting Up Our Fellows

This water has been so nice the past few days. Although slightly chilly, it's been very smooth and calm. It truly is one of the best times of year to paddle. This evening I was out on a paddle by myself and then, as I was heading back to the harbor, I saw a group that included one of the guys I work with when filling in at the SUP shop. He and his best friend had their mothers visiting and were taking them out for a paddle. They invited me to join them so I stayed out a little longer.

falling in on a sup
Since the mothers were new at paddle boarding, they were still trying to learn how to balance, and both of them ended up falling in the river. Of course the sons were laughing at their moms, but the moms were laughing too because they had such a great sense of humor about it. Then, one of the sons fell in. I laughed at him, and then immediately thought, I'm probably going in next since I'm laughing at him. And since I had just past a man standing on his dock who asked, "Isn't the water cold tonight?" and I replied with, "I don't know, I haven't been in the water," I knew it was just a matter of time.

I had gone probably four miles this evening without going in the water. In fact I've never fallen in the river, only in the harbor while practicing step turns on my board and goofing off, thoroughly expecting to end up in the water in those situations. Tonight, I was almost home free to the mouth of the harbor after my long paddle, and all of a sudden, in trying to maneuver my board past one of the sons, I went right in.

To answer the man on the dock's question, yes, the water was cold, but it was exhilarating. At this point we were all laughing at and with each other. But not only had we laughed at each other throughout the paddle, we also encouraged each other, helped each other up, and made sure each of us was okay. We all fall sometimes, but God brings people into our lives to help lift each other up, whether it's through laughter, encouragement or physical strength.

For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:10